I routinely won 6-and-7-figure deals when I was in the tech industry. That wouldn’t be super impressive, except for 2 things:
- I was typically the highest bidder (or at least one of the highest bidders).
- I was an engineer, not a salesperson.
My secret? I never played on a level field. I un-leveled it every time.
Over the next few emails I’ll share my approach to un-leveling the playing field and winning on value.
What I’m going to share with you will empower you to massively fill your pipeline with tons of recurring revenue and lifetime value.
What Doesn’t Work: Gimmicks
I see so many tactics, gimmicks, and super-secret, magical phrases that come and go.
The latest thing I’ve seen is a push for “personalization”. It usually looks something like this:
“Hi Matt. I noticed that you’re from Arizona. My mom lives there and I visit every winter. Cool! By the way, our company is the leading provider of blah, blah, blah…”
That was a great sales tactic for about a week several years back and then everyone got wise to it. That’s what always happens with tricks. I don’t have any tricks to share.
So instead of tactics and gimmicks, here’s what I think is the most valuable, fundamental principle in the world of sales today:
What Does Work: Being Super Relevant
People can get information anywhere, and they don’t particularly care to be sold to. But if you “get” their situation and bring immediate value to the table, the shields come down and the information starts to flow.
Being relevant means understanding their needs and priorities like a specialist.
When agents meet with customers, they can make a much stronger first impression by demonstrating that they already understand some things very well:
- The customer’s basic needs and priorities
- The customer’s approximate financial and life situation
- The customer’s level of sophistication as an insurance consumer
- The customer’s likely knowledge gaps that can be filled with empowering value
- Obviously, the customer’s existing product portfolio
Imagine that you have two types of customers:
Profile A averages a house, 3 cars, an RV, a small business, life policies, and retirement accounts.
Profile B usually has as a renter’s policy and a single auto with state minimum coverage.
Are you approaching both customers with the same conversational baseline?
If you’ve ever visited the family doctor when you knew you needed a specialist, you’ve probably experienced irrelevance. Perhaps you felt like you were wasting your time. You weren’t talking to someone with a deep understanding of your needs. Sure, they’re both going to have a diagnostic conversation with you, but only the specialist feels like they’re on your page.
When agencies focused more on their own process than being profoundly relevant, they don’t generate a “Wow!” factor. The result is that they’re uncompelling, and o they don’t get the information they need to really provide value and reap the rewards.
You don’t need a new review appointment conversation model. You just need to un-level the playing field by adjusting how you launch the conversation for each type of customer so that you’re maximally relevant out of the gate.
Here’s How To Be Super Relevant
Segment your customers. Group them into a few profiles that warrant different micro-strategies for acquisition and retention. Decide how you’ll differentiate your baseline conversations to be more relevant to each of those profiles.
Get your ducks in a row. Don’t ask questions that you already have answers to or that you can easily find.
Ask insightful questions. Get the right information and take notes so that you’re always a glance away from being highly-relevant.
Tell stories. Every time you make a customer better off, it’s a chance to write a new story that will help other customers have confidence that they’re talking to the right person.
Continuously improve. Whenever you meet with a customer, keep track of what works for their customer profile and what doesn’t. This is like free market research, and it will pay off massively over hundreds of customer meetings.
The reason this approach worked for me is that it un-leveled the playing field. My competitors’ bids, despite being cheaper, couldn’t compete because they looked like everybody else’s. Meanwhile my proposals were super-relevant. Not only did I win, but repeat purchases and recurring revenue were no-brainers.
Translation: customers knew my proposal would solve their problem. My competitors’ proposals? Not so much.
My being relevant made it hard for customers to shop me. It shifted the focus from price to value.
If you’re looking for an edge to help you better serve customers and win their business, try to be relevant enough that you can’t be compared with more generic agents.